The 10 Best Fishing Spots In Arkansas This Summer

Written by Crystal
Updated: June 10, 2023
Share on:


Bass are biting in Arkansas this summer.

The warm season also brings anglers a lot of luck with walleye, crappie, catfish, and black and striped bass. The black bass is eager and will go after anything that resembles bait fish. Use nightcrawlers, trotline minnows, or stinkbait if you want catfish

Knowing what you want to catch and having the right bait is to start. You’ll also need to pinpoint the best fishing locations so that you can enjoy regular catches all day long.

Read on to learn the 10 best fishing spots in Arkansas this summer.

1. Bull Shoals Lake

Bull Shoals Lake is one of the best fishing spots in Arkansas.

©Tara Ballard/

Anyone living in Arkansas knows that Bull Shoals Lake is the place to go for fishing. Located on the Missouri and Arkansas state line, the waterway has a healthy population of largemouth bass. Largemouth bass weighing up to 12 lb or more regularly caught here!

Check out the White River below the dam if you’re looking for trout. There’s a national following of trout anglers who flock to this area to catch brown, rainbow, and cutthroat trout. Thanks to a nearby fish hatchery, there’s always plenty of trout stocked in the river. You’ll be able to take advantage of fish attractors, such as Christmas trees. For the best results, always cast towards the fish attractor. Count down, and if you get a hit, keep the exact count for your next cast. If you hit brush, try using a shorter count.

2. Greers Ferry Lake

Greers Ferry Lake

You can catch trout all year long in Greers Ferry.

© Faurie

Greers Ferry is one of Arkansas’s five largest lakes. It provides excellent fishing opportunities as well as recreational water sports and camping. The reservoir is exceptionally clean and well maintained. After spending the day fishing, you can enjoy first-class lodging, lakeside resorts, and fine dining. 

There’s a little river downstream of Greers Ferry dam, The Little Red River, and it’s a world-famous trout fishery. That means you’ll be able to catch brown, brook, cutthroat, and rainbow trout all year long.

3. Beaver Lake

Rainbow over Beaver Lake Arkansas

Beaver Lake in Arkansas is 28,000 acres in size.


If you’re looking for a large lake to fish on, check out Beaver Lake in Arkansas. The Lake covers 28,000 acres and sits in the Ozark Highlands near tall bluffs and forests. It’s a nationally renowned spot for bass fishing and has been the prime destination for countless fishing tournaments. It’s an anglers paradise at Beaver Lake; you can expect a crowd during the summertime. When you’re done fishing, try your hand at water skiing, scuba diving, kayaking, or wakeboarding. It’s the perfect spot to have some fun in the sun this summer.

4. Buffalo National River



National River sits in the heart of the Ozarks.


Say hello to America’s first national river, the Buffalo River. Located in the heart of the Ozarks, the Buffalo River is 135 miles long, and it has great water quality ratings. There are both swift running waters and calm stretches. Various woodlands, limestone bluffs, and gravel bars provide anglers with excellent opportunities. You can catch smallmouth bass throughout the entire river. There are over a hundred miles of blazed trails for anglers to gain easy and remote water access.

5. Nimrod Lake

Journey to the oldest man-made Lake in Arkansas, Lake Nimrod. The 3,550-acre lake is bordered by the Ouachita National Forest. The spot is most popular for its “slab” crappie fishing. Other major game fish include catfish, white bass, bream, and largemouth bass. There are several stores in bait shops along the Lake where you can buy all of your fishing supplies.

6. Lake Millwood

When Arkansas completed its longest earthen dam, Millwood Lake was formed. Millwood is a popular fishing lake and features 29,000 acres of flooded timber. The timber provides the perfect cover for a wide variety of fish. White bass, striped bass, spotted bass, and largemouth bass is popular at Millwood Lake. You’ll also be able to catch channel and flathead catfish. There have been over 333 different fish species cited in this area.

7. White Oak Lake

The second largest artificially made lake in Arkansas is the White Oak Lake. The Lake has a total of 2,667 acres. The upper portion of the Lake is divided into 1,032 acres, and the lower portion includes 1,645 acres. Both the upper and lower portions have reputations for providing big fish. 

There are also big largemouth bass hiding around stick-ups and fallen timber. There are three concrete boat ramps on the lower Lake and two on the upper Lake. You can also take advantage of a barrier-free fishing pier at the upper Lake.

8. Crooked Creek

Crooked Creek Water Way In Arkansas

With a length of 22 miles, Crooked creek has plenty of fish to catch.

©S H Photo/

Crooked Creek is home to bluegill, catfish, sunfish, trout, and largemouth bass. The 22-mile crooked Creek water trail was designated by the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission. The Creek flows East, and it’s the perfect spot for anyone seeking a bit of solitude and exploration. If you want to plan a long route, you can take advantage of the primitive campsites at Snow Access and Brooksher Crooked Creek Preserve.

9. Lake Catherine

Lake Catherine

Lake Catherine is an interesting spot for anglers.


Head over to Hot Springs County, Arkansas, to check out Lake Catherine. It’s a picturesque fishing location. The lake covers 1,940 acres and was formed by Carpenter and Remmel dams. Anglers can catch various fish, including rainbow trout, striped bass, walleye, channel catfish, and largemouth bass. If the sun starts to be too much, just jump in the water. Lake Catherine state park has one of the nicest swimming beaches. There’s even a tributary that’s a hidden waterfall! The waterfall spills into Falls Creek. 

10. Lake Columbia

Covering 3,000 acres of surface area, Lake Columbia is located in Columbia County, Arkansas. You’ll be able to find carp, sunfish, channel catfish, largemouth bass, and crappie on these waters. The bass bites the most near the vegetation edges. You can use topwater lures during the break of the day to get some incredible results. 

You’ll find that crappie bites the best at Lake Columbia during the sunrise as well. However, you’ll want to search for the crappie near deeper structure. You can catch many bream too using wax or red worms. Just make sure you’re fishing near overhanging vegetation.

The multi-purpose reservoir also features a 30-acre park. You’ll have access to three boat ramps, a swimming area, and modern campsites. All of the campsites have water, showers, and electricity. Lake Columbia is a great spot to camp, fish, hike, and explore.

Summary Of The 10 Best Fishing Spots In Arkansas This Summer

RankFishing Spot
1Bull Shoals Lake
2Greers Ferry Lake
3Beaver Lake
4Buffalo National River
5Nimrod Lake
6Lake Millwood
7White Oak Lake
8Crooked Creek
9Lake Catherine
10Lake Columbia

The photo featured at the top of this post is ©

Share on:
About the Author

Crystal is a dedicated writer at A-Z Animals, focusing on topics related to mammals, insects, and travel. With over a decade of experience in the world of research and writing, she also fulfills the role of a skilled video and audio engineer. Residing in sunny Florida, alligators are Crystal's favorite animal.

Thank you for reading! Have some feedback for us? Contact the AZ Animals editorial team.